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US donates computer to grateful students

By Sgt. Kerensa Hardy
First published in
SFOR Informer#113, May 16, 2001

Members of the American support element gave students a tool to broaden their minds.

Nisici - Students greeted the US soldiers with much excitement and anticipation May 8, in part because the children knew their visitors came bearing gifts.
The US Base Support Battalion (BSB), represented by its commander and chaplain, donated a computer to the eighth-grade students at Nisici elementary school. This is the first part of "Adopt a Classroom" initiative in which the BSB wants other national support elements to get involved.
"Through his commitment to reach out to the community and to expand the knowledge base (the BSB commander) has supported the effort to bring a computer to your school," said Chaplain (Capt.) Gregory McCrimmon, BSB chaplain, through interpreter Damir Gulamovic. "We will continue to work to bring other computers to the school so that you will have access to a larger world that we call the Internet."
The chaplain challenged Ilijas Deputy Mayor Dusko Drljaca to install a phone line so that the students could begin to access information from all over the world to broaden their horizons.
"Through this technology, the sky is the limit," he said.
BSB Commander Lt. Col. Herbert Grogan has been in Sarajevo for nearly a year and said he's witnessed a lot of change. He referred to the students as "the flowers of Bosnia and Herzegovina," borrowing a term used by US Ambassador to BiH Thomas Miller, as they are preparing to "grow" from one stage to another - go from elementary school to secondary school.
"We share the opinion with you that these children are 'the flowers of (BiH),'" Drljaca said in the closing remarks. "You did a lot for these 'flowers.' We believe, in co-operation with the teachers and staff, they will be able to gain knowledge."
The computer will definitely aid in the education process, one teacher said. Currently, teachers use only a blackboard and what's stored in their mental database to teach the 150 students who attend the school.
"This is a big change," said Sehija Razanica, teacher of the eighth-grade students who will benefit from the computer. "The kids were more than happy this morning when they found out about the computer.
"They are finishing elementary school but this computer will be very useful for generations that are coming," she said. "One is not enough, but it's a start."

Related links: Nations of SFOR: US
Humanitarian Aid